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New industry council to help auto parts-makers

Welcome addition: Dayco Australia managing director – and now APMEC chairman – Arnold Mouw (centre) with federal senators Kim Carr and Ricky Muir at the 2015 Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo in Melbourne in April.

AAAA launches Automotive Products Manufacturers and Exporters Council

General News logo10 Sep 2015

THE peak industry body for the automotive aftermarket sector has set up an Automotive Products Manufacturers and Exporters Council (APMEC) to support parts-makers beyond the manufacturing exit of Ford next year and Holden and Toyota in 2017.

In announcing the establishment of APMEC, which will be chaired by Dayco Australia managing director Arnold Mouw, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) said the council would assist component manufacturers for both the original equipment and aftermarket sectors “and is open to businesses engaged in research, design, product development or production”.

The move follows the closure earlier this year of the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers (FAPM), which was placed into voluntary liquidation when its directors determined that the organisation had no future with the closure of all three car manufacturers and the subsequent impact on the Australian supply chain.

However, as GoAuto has reported, FAPM is maintaining a presence through the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), with a one-day-a-week secretariat in place until the end of 2017.

AAAA executive director Stuart Charity described the newly formed APMEC as “a natural extension of the association’s operations” and was set up to “promote the interests and growth of the local automotive components manufacturing sector by focusing on innovation and export expansion”.

“AAAA has operated successful four-wheel-drive and performance racing and tuning industry councils for many years to support these specialist sectors of the Australian automotive aftermarket,” Mr Charity said.

“These AAAA industry councils actively advocate on behalf of member businesses to promote growth opportunities and also act as networking and information exchange groups. They have been very effective at expanding markets for Australian automotive components.

“The APMEC will conduct research to identify and quantify business opportunities for Australian component manufacturers. It will also go the next step to formulate new and innovative ways for members to expand their businesses.

“APMEC is about high-end manufacturing growth and more skilled jobs for Australia.”

AAAA senior manager of government relations and advocacy Lesley Yates has been appointed APMEC project manager and said the council’s strategy and activities would be determined by a leadership team drawn from the membership, which at launch this month had 80 members but was expected to grow beyond 250.

“Given the wide range and high skill levels of Australian automotive design and manufacturing businesses, we expect membership to reach about 260,” Ms Yates said.

“The automotive components sector in Australia is not dead. While the original equipment segment will lose its local vehicle manufacturer customers by 2017, the aftermarket has shown the way to success with innovation and exports.

“APMEC will pave the way for all automotive component-makers to follow this successful business model.

“AAAA members are now exporting more than $800 million worth of product each year. This is evidence that the global automotive market recognises Australian manufacturers’ innovation and quality production.”

Ms Yates said an establishment committee led by Mr Mouw was now in place and will finalise the APMEC charter and action plans for AAAA National Council approval. From next year, the committee will be elected by APMEC members for two-year terms.

The committee has representatives from Composite Materials Engineering, Dana Australia, Don Kyatt Group, Lumen Australia, Mackay Consolidated Industries, MtM Auto, Penrite Oil Company, Pedders Suspension and ZF Lemforder Australia, while government liaison advice will be provided by a co-opted committee member from corporate advisors Grant Thornton Australia.

“While government previously recognised and supported only the manufacturing segment supplying local vehicle manufacturers, all other automotive businesses had to work independently to build their local and international markets,” Mr Mouw said.

“APMEC will be a welcome addition to Australia’s automotive landscape. It will help companies develop products and access new markets.”

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